Darren Walker: “My American dream”

As part of a new series, People magazine profiles Ford Foundation president Darren Walker—who, many years before rising to lead the world’s second-largest philanthropy, was one of the Head Start program’s first graduates. “Too often, hopes and dreams are squashed by poverty or violence,” he says. “But then you see these signals of hope, these indications of generosity.”

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.